5 of Last Week's Biggest Winners

What's better than momentum? Mo' momentum. Let's take a closer look at five of this past week's biggest scorchers.

Company

July 26

Weekly Gain

Himax Technologies (NASDAQ: HIMX  )

$7.30

41%

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  )

$34.01

31%

Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU  )

$127.56

15%

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF  )

$19.71

11%

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: QCOR.DL  )

$50.37

10%

Source: Barron's.

Let's start with Himax, which soared after Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) moved to take a small stake in the Taiwanese chipmaker's majority-owned display subsidiary. Himax had risen in the past on the high probability that the subsidiary's liquid crystal silicon chips would be a component in Google Glass as the high-tech specs go into mainstream production. This deal -- with Big G taking a 6.3% position that can escalate to 14.8% within the next year -- both cements the relationship and signals that the search giant is serious about wearable computing.

Facebook still hasn't clawed its way back to last year's IPO price, but it made some serious headway last week after some encouraging news on the monetization front. The world's leading social-networking website operator posted strong quarterly results, pointing out that 41% of its revenue now comes from mobile usage.

Investors have been unsure about Facebook's ability to cash in on the trend that's moving to consumption on smaller screens. However, the revenue's coming in. Facebook also claims that users aren't complaining, arguing that engagement rates are increasing.

China's leading search engine keeps moving higher. Baidu came through with yet another 15% gain this week after posting strong quarterly results.

The revived dot-com giant popped 15% higher last week after announcing a $1.9 billion deal to improve its prospects in mobile. This time around it was market-thumping results and guidance that translateed into accelerating revenue growth even at the low point of its range.

Cliffs Natural Resources didn't leave a lump of coal in shareholders' stockings this past week. Most of Cliffs' gain came on Friday, after the producer of iron ore and metallurgical coal delivered better-than-expected financial results. Revenue of $1.49 billion was just shy of the $1.58 billion it reported a year earlier, and profitability was shaved by more than half to $0.82 a share. However, analysts were holding out for net income of just $0.61 a share on $1.41 billion in revenue. Even warning that it will produce a million tons less in iron sales for the entire fiscal year than it had originally projected wasn't enough to rain on this parade. Cliffs Natural Resources has been beaten down so badly this year, that mixed news is good news.

Finally, we have Questcor moving higher. The biotech made its move during the final two trading days of the week, after announcing that it will begin the second phase of clinical trials for its Acthar gel for the treatment of patients with Lou Gehrig's disease. Questcor is initiating the patient screening process.

Keep the good vibes coming
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